The latest figures on the number of sexual offences against children recorded by police in Lincolnshire have seen a shocking 66 per cent increase.
253 offences took place in the county from 2012 to 2013- rising to 423 in 2013-2014, with the NSPCC helpline receiving around 95 calls specifically about sexual abuse from the Lincolnshire police force area.
Of these, more than half were serious enough to be referred on to other agencies.
NSPCC chief executive, Peter Wanless, said: “These figures are disturbing and clearly illustrate child sexual abuse is a continuing and widespread problem that needs urgent action.”
“But we know this is still only a fraction of the true number of victims because some endure an agonising wait of many years before telling anyone – and others never reveal what has happened to them.”
He added: “It’s time to throw down the gauntlet to government which has to ensure all sexual abuse victims get specialist treatment to help them recover.”
“By the end of this current Parliament there should be no children living in the shadow of abuse.”
The figures were revealed pm Wednesday 17th June as the NSPCC launched its third state of the nation annual report, entitled ‘How safe are our children?’ at the charity’s annual conference in London.
The report compiles the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the four nations in the UK.
In response to an NSPCC Freedom of Information request to Lincolnshire police force, the number of offences committed against girls (326) was four times higher than that of boys (83) and 37 of the victims were children aged 5 and under.
It’s not clear why the number of offences has risen. Greater awareness may be giving more victims the courage to come forward, including those reporting historical cases, or police forces have improved their recording methods. However it does mean that more children are speaking out, only to find little support to help them recover from abuse.